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[California State Certified Security Providers: Limiting Your Propertys Liability] By David Bernal

At the core of services that security contractors endeavor to provide is the greatest concern to any propertyeffective public safety and asset protection while minimizing liability exposure and improving risk management. In order to provide their services in California, professionals of the private security industry must clear high hurdles of increasing government demands and regulation. Accordingly, property owners and facility managers are well served to be knowledgeable of how their security providers are regulated by law in California. Security industry standards continue to rise as laws in California focus on licensing, certification, and training minimums required to be met by security contractors and in-house security employers. While the security industry of California embarks daily on the ever challenging task of providing public safety to businesses in the nations largest security market, the cost to do business in California rises for security providers, as government regulation increases each year. Yet, the vast majority of private security professionals welcome regulation, knowing it filters out negligent elements within their industry, while serving to distinguish legitimate professionals of the industry operating successfully and legally under the watchful eye of the states regulatory agencies. A History of Protecting the Consumer The private security industry in California is regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), the nations largest dedicated agency regulating the private security industry on the state level. The states early official regulatory authority can be traced to 1915 when California began licensing private detectives under the Administration of the State Board of Prison Directors, followed by a new category for Private Patrol Operators being added to the Private Investigator Act in 1943. Hence, today a state qualified private security provider receives a Private Patrol Operator (PPO) license from BSIS. In 1973, uniformed security officers employed by PPOs began mandatory registration with the State of California, under the Bureau of Collections and Investigative Services, the forerunner of BSIS. Today, BSIS is the overall regulatory agency of private security contractors, in-house security employers and their respective security personnel. State Laws on Licensing and Training Certification To obtain licensing and registration through BSIS, all applicants must successfully pass comprehensive background checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). In conjunction with securing a PPO license, the PPO must select one individual within its organization to serve as the Qualified Manager (QM), a state recognized position also licensed and registered through BSIS, serving as the official point of contact for all BSIS official business. QM licensing is accomplished by successfully passing a specified examination by the state. Usually, the QM is an owner, partner or corporate officer of the PPOs business. However, an employee of the company may also qualify as its sole QM. Security officers in California must also be registered and regulated through BSIS. Licensing for contractor-employed security officers is driven by high standards of training and certification, such as 40 hours of state approved specialized training to be completed within a 6 month period by registered security officers, along with mandatory annual refresher courses. All state mandated training accomplished by registered security officers is required to be documented via certificates of completion and made available to the state for review, through inspections regularly conducted by BSIS. Upon obtaining registration through the state, security officers are issued a BSIS official ID document

[California State Certified Security Providers: Limiting Your Propertys Liability] By David Bernal
called the Guard Card. All registered security officers in California must have their original Guard Card on their person while on duty, and are subject to periodic Guard Card inspections by their employers and BSIS. In-house security officers are also regulated by BSIS and registered under the Proprietary Security Officer (PSO) certification status. In todays complex environment of high-tech security challenges, private security contractors are asked to provide a multitude of specialized services to various sophisticated businesses, and industries. Client references of quality security companies in California range from rapidly growing businesses to well established Fortune 500 global entities. Along with multi-faceted responsibilities to its clientele in the private sector, todays security contractors also play an increasingly important role in homeland defense. Regulation of the security industry and its workers has significantly increased in California and on a national level since the terrorist events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent creation of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. With that in mind, BSIS must closely regulate private security companies, in-house security employers, and their respective security personnel working within various service environments in the state. Consequently, proprietary security employers and their inhouse security officers have recently come under closer scrutiny by BSIS to press accountability and assure adherence to state laws. In 2009, California became the first state to regulate proprietary security employers by requiring all in-house security employers to register with BSIS. The law also aims to create points of contact between proprietary security employers and BSIS and assures that all security professionals in California - including proprietary employers - will operate in legal unity and within strict guidelines enforceable by BSIS. Accordingly, the contract security industry welcomes and supports the states efforts, knowing it promotes parody and increased levels of accountability, along with expanded business opportunity within California. Security Industry Advocacy at the State Legislature Security providers are assisted by professional organizations that promote high standards of excellence within the security industry through advocacy and educational programs that significantly benefit its members. Among notable professional organizations in the security industry is the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards and Associates (CALSAGA). In California, CALSAGA effectively represents the interests of the private security industry while working closely with BSIS and the states legislature. It is focused on improving industry standards, growth and education for its large membership of over 300 security companies and 60,000 security officers. California businesses can rest assured that their interests are being protected by state certified security providers and the strict laws that regulate them. Consequently, there are immense benefits derived from a cohesive partnership between Californias business community, its security partners and BSIS.
David Bernal Sales and Marketing Manager, Universal Protection Service About the Author David Bernal is a 17-year veteran of the private security industry, and has excelled in the areas of marketing, sales, operations, and client relations while regularly winning multi-million dollar government and private sector contracts. He received his BA in English Literature from California State University, Northridge. Mr. Bernal is the author of various articles for the security industry and serves on committees with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Industry Manufacturers Council (IMC), and the Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).